This week we managed to catch up with the lovely and totally amazing Jaime Thurston, Founder of 52 Lives. A life changing charity that we are beyond proud to support.
52 Lives was launched in November 2013, after Jaime met a lady in need of a rug. It began as a Facebook page that she set up as a way for her friends and family to help people. It has since grown into a global community of almost 100,000 kind people who follow their weekly requests on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or via their email newsletter.
Jaime, tell us more about the inspiration behind 52 Lives
52 Lives gives people tangible help, but our philosophy goes much deeper than that. The most important thing we do is spread kindness. We believe unexpected kindness is a powerful thing and can change someone's whole outlook on life. The people we help all say the same thing: that what changed their lives wasn't the 'thing' we gave them, but the kindness - the fact that complete strangers cared about them. And kindness doesn't just help the person on the receiving end - research has shown it improves our own mental and physical health at the same time.
We literally can't read your weekly posts without welling up, how do you find the people you support?
Every week, 52 Lives helps to change someone's life. We choose someone in need of help, share their story on our website and social media, and request what that person needs. Our kind supporters then spread the word, offer help if they can, and we change that person's life - and inspire more kindness in others.
The people we choose to help come from nominations made through our website (checks are made to ensure the requests are genuine). Over the years we have helped with a huge variety of things...from helping a homeless mother and son into a flat; building a sensory garden for a boy in Wales; buying carpet and furniture for women and children leaving refuges; sending cards and kind messages to children being bullied; providing computers to vulnerable children so they can access lessons; and covering bills and grocery costs for families with seriously ill children.
Bloomsbury Mill's donation of new bedding and baby products for the families we support has been so gratefully received and is such an essential need for our families.
One of the unique things about 52 Lives is that 100% of what our individual supporters give goes to the person we are helping.
We've all had a pretty challenging and tough two years, what has the impact been like for 52 Lives
Even though we'e called 52 Lives, we often help far more people than this. Over the last two years we've helped between 3000 and 4000 people a year! And last year alone, we ran kindness workshops for around 50,000 children.
Tell us more about your kindness workshops, they sound amazing
We run Free Kindness Workshops for thousands of children every year. Our Workshops aim to spread kindness and empower children by helping them realise that the little choices they make every day have the power to change people's lives, and improve their own physical and mental health at the same time.
We also have a Kindness Fund, providing small grants to children with amazing ideas for spreading kindness in their school or community, as well as a range of free lesson plans and resources for teachers.